wom·​an | \ ˈwu̇-mən How to pronounce woman (audio) , especially Southern ˈwō- How to pronounce woman (audio) or ˈwə- How to pronounce woman (audio) \
plural women\ ˈwi-​mən How to pronounce woman (audio) \

Definition of woman

1a : an adult female person
b : a woman belonging to a particular category (as by birth, residence, membership, or occupation) usually used in combination councilwoman
2 : womankind
3 : distinctively feminine nature : womanliness
4 : a woman who is a servant or personal attendant
5a chiefly dialectal : wife
b : mistress
6 : a woman who is extremely fond of or devoted to something specified I'm a chocolate woman through and through, but one bite of West's banana pudding cupcake and I was sold.— Hattie Brown Garrow

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from woman

woman adjective
womanless \ ˈwu̇-​mən-​ləs How to pronounce woman (audio) , especially Southern  ˈwō-​ or  ˈwə-​ \ adjective

Synonyms for woman


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of woman in a Sentence

She grew up to become a confident and beautiful woman. She is a grown woman. The store sells shoes for both men and women.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web That culture and its members are particularly deserving of love these days, amid a rash of high-profile attacks, including the brutal stomping of an elderly Asian American woman in Manhattan and the fatal shootings at Atlanta-area spas. Washington Post, "These udon noodles in a simple soy broth are simply irresistible," 4 Apr. 2021 Jones is the second NYC parolee to commit a violent crime in the past week: Brandon Elliot, 38, was arrested and charged in connection with a violent attack on an elderly Asian woman on Monday. Peter Aitken, Fox News, "NYC man who allegedly slashed 3, including baby, was paroled on attempted-murder conviction: police," 3 Apr. 2021 In the case of the attack on the woman outside the apartment building in Manhattan, the victim’s daughter said someone had tried to help: A passerby yelled at the perpetrator in an attempt to distract him. BostonGlobe.com, "Would you jump in to stop an assault?," 3 Apr. 2021 Healey pointed to an attack Monday on an Asian American woman near New York City’s Times Square during which the 65-year-old was kicked and stomped. NBC News, "Anti-Asian attacks prompt call for updated hate crimes law," 1 Apr. 2021 In New York City, Teresa Ting, who is Chinese American, started what has become the Main Street Patrol following an attack on another older Asian American woman in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens in February. Terry Tang And Deepti Hajela, The Christian Science Monitor, "To protect their own, Asian Americans form street patrols," 1 Apr. 2021 In New York City, Teresa Ting, a 29-year-old Chinese American, started what has become the Main Street Patrol following an attack on another older Asian American woman in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens in February. Terry Tang And Deepti Hajela, Detroit Free Press, "Brutal New York City attack renews Asian American volunteers' efforts," 1 Apr. 2021 In April, a 39-year-old Asian woman in Sunset Park was attacked with acid while taking out her trash. Eveline Chao, Curbed, "The Chinatown Block Watch, One Year Later," 1 Apr. 2021 Suspect arrested, charged with hate crime in horrific NYC attack on an Asian American woman. Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY, "Biden's 2 trillion dollar idea," 31 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'woman.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of woman

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for woman

Middle English, from Old English wīfman, from wīf woman, wife + man human being, man

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about woman

Time Traveler for woman

Time Traveler

The first known use of woman was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for woman

Last Updated

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Woman.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/woman. Accessed 15 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for woman



English Language Learners Definition of woman

: an adult female human being
: a woman who has a specified job or position
: all women thought of as a group


wom·​an | \ ˈwu̇-mən How to pronounce woman (audio) \
plural women\ ˈwi-​mən \

Kids Definition of woman

1 : an adult female person
2 : women considered as a group

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on woman

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for woman

Nglish: Translation of woman for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of woman for Arabic Speakers

Comments on woman

What made you want to look up woman? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!